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Rauner tries to walk it back

Thursday, Jan 9, 2014

* Sun-Times

Veering 180 degrees in a stunning political turn, millionaire private equity investor Bruce Rauner said Wednesday he misspoke and was “flippant” when he appeared to advocate a rollback last month in Illinois’ minimum wage.

In fact, Rauner now says he wants to see the minimum wage increase. […]

Rauner insisted he never meant to suggest lowering Illinois’ minimum wage by $1.

“I never said that. I said we should tie the minimum wage in Illinois to the national minimum wage. I didn’t use numbers. I didn’t use $7.25. I didn’t say any of that,” Rauner said. “I said I want Illinois competitive with other states.

Oh, please. Here’s what he said

“I will advocate moving the Illinois minimum wage back to the national minimum wage. I think we’ve got to be competitive here in Illinois. It’s critical we’re competitive. We’re hurting our economy by having the minimum wage above the national. We’ve got to move back to the national.”

He didn’t use a number, but it’s clear what he proposed doing - roll the minimum wage back by a buck an hour. Anybody with even half a brain can see that.

* And now he says he wants to increase the minimum wage. NBC5

Rauner now says “I support moving Illinois to the national minimum wage” at the same time supporting “the national minimum wage moving up.”

How far up? Rauner says “I can support raising the Illinois minimum wage in the context of pro-business reform.” Rauner says “I’m comfortable at $10.”

* Tribune

In a Wednesday interview, Rauner initially sought to make the case that his Moline remarks had been taken “out of context” and that he was not in favor of cutting Illinois’ minimum wage even though he used the term “moving” it “back to the national” level. He acknowledged the remarks had created “quite a firestorm.”

“I was flippant, and I oversimplified an issue. I’m sorry. That was a mistake,” he said. Rauner said his support for tying Illinois to an increased federal minimum wage was coupled with the state adopting a comprehensive pro-business approach that included changing labor and environmental regulations, reducing taxes and improving education

He didn’t “oversimplify an issue.” He said what he said. But if he’s sorry and it was a mistake, then fine.

* However

Rauner acknowledged the minimum wage topic “a sensitive issue” but accused Democrats of ginning up a “class warfare issue” by creating a state that was “hostile to business,” leading to continued high unemployment.

He was the one engaging in class warfare by proposing to cut the minimum wage by a buck an hour. That’s just the way it is, man. That class warfare stuff cuts both ways and Rauner has until now firmly planted himself on the side of the big boys.

* Rauner even quickly penned a Tribune op-ed that the paper obligingly rushed to print

Tuesday, news outlets reported on a remark I made last month about lowering the minimum wage. One went so far as to characterize my remark as a “key policy proposal.” I strongly disagree. My statement was an oversimplification of a complex issue that deserves more detailed discussion.

Let’s acknowledge upfront that there’s no way you can raise a family and have a decent standard of living on the minimum wage. That’s true regardless of whether we raise the rate by $1.75. Makes you wonder whether the advocates of minimum wage hikes are really looking to help the working poor or whether they’re more interested in scoring political points.

For many young people, the minimum wage is a stepping stone to higher employment levels. When I was young, I had minimum wage jobs as a busboy, flipping burgers and parking cars. For many others, the minimum wage is a difficult ongoing reality of adult life.

To make a profound difference in living standards, we need a comprehensive economic development and education agenda. Incremental increases in the minimum wage won’t address the underlying skills and investment gaps in Illinois.

Yeah, he’s just a regular guy. A common man. Flipped burgers when he was a kid and parked cars. A true man of the people. Probably still wearing the same watch.

And that “comprehensive economic development and education agenda”? Not spelled out at all in the op-ed. Just pablum.

* I dunno, but perhaps Tillman didn’t get the memo about Rauner’s policy switch. From ABC7

“Anyone who wants to see more people going back to work should support lowering the minimum wage,” John Tilman, Illinois Policy Institute, said.

* Also, Rauner still hasn’t explained this comment he made in Carbondale on Tuesday

“We should only do that [reduce the minimum wage by a dollar an hour] in the context of dramatically improving our schools and creating a business environment where everybody’s got jobs so we don’t have such a brutally high unemployment rate.”

Still trying to figure that one out.

* And you gotta love this quote by Sen. Kirk Dillard

Dillard called Rauner’s idea to lower the rate “political suicide.”

“Being as wealthy, a multi, multi- millionaire as he is, shows he is out of touch with regular Illinoisans,” Sen. Dillard said.

OK, well, then how “out of touch” is a candidate who wants the “marketplace” to set the minimum wage instead of the government? He’s getting a total pass on this issue so far from the media.

* Here’s some much-needed context from the Economic Policy Institute

When describing who would see a raise if the minimum wage were increased, it is important to look at everyone who earns between the current minimum wage and the proposed new one, as well as workers earning just above the new minimum wage (who would likely also see a small pay increase as employers move to preserve internal wage ladders). The typical worker who would be affected by an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2015 looks nothing like the part-time, teen stereotype: She is in her early thirties, works full-time, and may have a family to support. Our analysis of workers who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage shows:

    * The average age of affected workers is 35 years old;
    * 88 percent of all affected workers are at least 20 years old;
    * 35.5 percent are at least 40 years old;
    * 56 percent are women;
    * 28 percent have children;
    * 55 percent work full-time (35 hours per week or more);
    * 44 percent have at least some college experience.

Claims that mostly teenagers would see a raise if the minimum wage were increased are sometimes based erroneously upon the official Bureau of Labor Statistics data on workers who are earning the federal minimum wage or below—i.e. workers earning exactly $7.25 per hour or less. These data do not provide an accurate picture of who would see a raise if the minimum wage were increased because they exclude all workers from the 19 states with higher state minimum wages, along with all workers making slightly above the current federal minimum wage but below the proposed minimum, all of whom would see a raise if the minimum wage were increased.

* From the DGA…

Democratic Governors Association Communications Director Danny Kanner today issued the following statement regarding billionaire Bruce Rauner’s attempt to explain away his plan to cut the minimum wage in Illinois:

“They say a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth. In the case of Bruce Rauner, he showed his true colors when he said that Illinois’ minimum wage needs to be cut. Only a right-wing billionaire would think it’s right to take thousands of dollars a year from working people who live on the brink of poverty. Forget his insincere apology today - the real Bruce Rauner would force thousands of Illinoisans into poverty if he had the chance, and voters won’t soon forget.”

Will voters forget?

…Adding… CTU President Karen Lewis analyzes

In an interview with the Sun-Times, Lewis, who calculated that at $7.20-an-hour, Rauner made more money in one second than what he proposed minimum wage earners should make in one hour, accused Rauner of now changing his tune because of politics.

“It made him look really insane. So he had to pull this back,” Lewis told the Sun-Times on Wednesday. “It played badly, so his handlers told him to change that. I think people need to understand this is who he really is.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - App - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:03 am:

    Ahh.. the whole ‘accidentally-being-honest’ faux pas never gets old.

  2. - corvax - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:04 am:

    ‘Flip Rauner’ I like the sound of it.

  3. - MrCR - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:04 am:

    Uh-oh! Rauner starting to slip on his feet.

    Hey, Bruce, maybe 5 debates will be too much for ya?

  4. - Under Influenced - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:07 am:

    OF COURSE VOTERS WON’T FORGET, WE…..wait what were we talking about?

  5. - Montrose - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:09 am:

    “Will voters forget?”

    i.e. Do his opponents have enough money to make sure they don’t?

  6. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:09 am:

    ==Anyone who wants to see more people going back to work should support lowering the minimum wage==

    And support increasing state subsidies for the poor since you will make them even poorer. What is wrong with these guys?

  7. - abc123 - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:13 am:

    Looking at it just from the interests of the poor, the issue is a wash. Higher wages for some are roughly cancelled out by lost jobs for others. Can’t we move on to something that really works for them?

  8. - Robert the Bruce - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:16 am:

    Disappointing that the Tribune printed his campaign’s messaging as an op ed. I find this action worse than any of their editorial position stances.

  9. - MrJM - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:22 am:

    Baron Carhartt’s flip-flop is perfectly consistent with his campaign’s over-arching theme: Bruce Rauner thinks you’re really, really stupid.

    – MrJM

  10. - Wensicia - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:24 am:

    “When I was young, I had minimum wage jobs as a busboy, flipping burgers and parking cars.”

    His usual mantra, hey I’m one of you or used to be isn’t going to work for much longer. Voters will not forget, as I imagine “the rich guy wants to take more away from the poor” will be the message going forward.

    Personally, I think he made things worse by trying to walk this back. I don’t understand why the Tribune has become his mouthpiece, more or less.

  11. - OneMan - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:25 am:

    Well if anyone knows about looking insane it would be Karen Lewis…

  12. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:27 am:

    Burger Bruce learned a lot flipping at the grill.

    Geez, are the Tribbies in the tank for this guy or what? He and his buddy Griff can commandeer the edit page at a moment’s notice for his campaign.

    Big Brain Bruce obviously has an exit strategy for when the paper is sold.

    Too many Bruces in play here. Kind of like that old Monty Python sketch: “So your name’s not Bruce,then?”

  13. - MrJM - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:29 am:

    Higher wages for some are roughly canceled out by lost jobs for others.

    Well, yeah… Except, no.
    – MrJM

  14. - Norseman - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:29 am:

    Looks like Flip Rauner will have to spend a few million on ads to try and recover from this blunder.

  15. - Just Me - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:34 am:

    The Tribune have him his own column inches today? That seems perfect fair and balanced.

  16. - Libertyville's finest - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    I don’t think letting the marketplace determine minimum wage is a bad thing. Above minimum wage, employers do this regularly to determine salary grades. In fact, the issue of cola increases for pension obligations is that very idea. You often hear your counterparts in California making more than you because ” cost of living is higher”. Whenever the government subsidizes anything, inflation occurs. Look at college education costs.

  17. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    ===I don’t think letting the marketplace determine minimum wage is a bad thing.===

    You and about a dozen other Illinoisans. That’s an exaggeration, but not by much. The numbers on this are astoundingly bad.

  18. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    Bruce Rauner can’t unring this bell.

    Bruce Rauner is a man who makes $7.25, $8.25. even $10. by the milisecond.

    Let us all be very clear what we all know about this story. A month ago, Bruce Rauner, clearly, stated that reducing the minimum wage by one dollar is what he supports.

    Like Mitt Romney, and the “47%” remark, they can be flippant, but reducing the minimum wage is exactly what Bruce Rauner believes and Bruce Rauner is out of touch with real people.

    Bruce Rauner lives his life trampling on the “little people”. Can you imagine a family, whose child was deined an opportunity to go to Payton Prep because of Bruce Rauner denied Daughter, now facing a possibility of a Mother or Father losing a dollar an hour at his 3rd job, so his gifted child … might … have another opportuinty not taken from them by Bruce Rauner and his family.

    Bruce Rauner Ads are telling too. They speak of “Union Bosses” and “career politicians”.

    What about the peoople? Waht about the voters?

    Bruce Rauner has no connection to real people.


    Bruce Rauner must use tested buzz words so real people “understand” the man who calls himself “we”.

    The hubris and ego, so inflated, that to look at people and not understand that flippant remarks that reflect true beliefs hit those you hope to court in a dangerous way. Bruce Rauner IS the guy who is willing to cut the minimum wage, because, hey, “I don’t know anyone earning minimum wage, so whatever.”

    The Ads say it all. It is never about the voters or the people, or making things better for them. It is about “political insiders” like Bruce Rauner himself, and trying to dictate like a CEO, when the state needs an Executive who can work with Co-Equal partenrs in government to make a better Illinois.

    The bell is still ringing, Baron von Carhartt.

    Ring. Ring.

  19. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    I’d like to hear his thoughts on off-shoring and visas. I have a feeling that the only reason he’s fine now with raising the minimum wage is because that’s going to set new salary expectations for the majority of the jobs that remain…

    …and “come back” as soon as we all agree to become “more competitive.”

  20. - Libertyville's finest - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    The market determines and guides every employment offer. I know of one distributor in Aurora. They pay minimum wage. They admit most of their temporary workforce is illegal and intentionally don’t run background checks. It’s a skills issue.

  21. - abc123 - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:54 am:


    Higher minimum wages don’t get roughly cancelled out by lost jobs for others? If you think that Wash. Post article, which just slaps up total unemployment numbers against minimum wage proves anything, well, let me be nice about it: Why not
    increase it to 15, or 30? You can’t just outlaw lousy wages just like you can’t just outlaw expensive gas. There have been roughly 200 studies on minimum wage laws that say they don’t help much. This is a huge waste of time and not helping the poor.

  22. - ZC - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    At the end of the day, he’s still a first-time candidate.

    He’s been pretty good so far under the spotlight, but nobody is perfect the first time out.

    And accidentally blurting out what you really think, is not an uncommon malady for first-timers like Rauner.

  23. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 9:58 am:

    =It’s a skills issue. =

    Mmmhm. That’s why there’s such a long transition period between IT folks here and those in other countries. We don’t have the skills. They do, right?

    You’re either intentionally obtuse or or currently hiring and/or looking to staff just as the company you’re mentioning does.

  24. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    =Higher wages for some are roughly canceled out by lost jobs for others.=

    Another one. Project and operational genius.

  25. - From the 'Dale to HP - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    I’ll give him credit for saying “I’m sorry. That was a mistake.” seeing that most politicians never ever say those six words.

    But what a mess. Even if he some how pulls out this primary, he’s got next to no chance in the general now.

  26. - MrJM - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    “This is a huge waste of time and not helping the poor.”

    I’m still waiting to meet the first actual poor person who supports the abolition of a minimum wage.

    – MrJM

  27. - too obvious - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    We’ve all witnessed a lot of really bad campaigns, but probably never one this expensive.

  28. - DuPage - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    Bruce, I heard you the first time.

  29. - too obvious - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    The good news is that at $10 someone would only have to work 2 hours to buy Rauner’s watch. Maybe 3 after taxes.

  30. - A. Nonymous - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    = OK, well, then how “out of touch” is a candidate who wants the “marketplace” to set the minimum wage instead of the government? =

    Pres. Lincoln waged a war that, in part, began to end the practice of letting the “marketplace” set minimum wage.

    As for Rauner and anyone who claims that lowering the minimum wage will suddenly increase jobs…

    Employers hire employees based on workload, not profit. If an employer needs to hire people they will do so regardless of the minimum wage so long as it’s in the best interests of their business’ viability.

    Lowering the rate won’t suddenly encourage an employer to randomly hire someone they don’t need. It just means more money in their pockets.

    Simple way to prove this point: Ask Rauner how many more people he would hire at his hedge fund if the minimum wage were lowered.

    Then ask a McDonald’s or Hallmark or ServPro franchise owner the same question.

    The answer will be “zero” in all cases.

  31. - Sir Reel - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    Bruce is onto something. You can do OK on a $7.25 minimum wage … of course you’ll have to work 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.

    I’m looking forward to a “flippant” Governor who’s fire-aim-ready.

  32. - train111 - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    Looks like he’s got the bucks to try and undo the damage. Board of Elections has him giving his campaign another mil.

  33. - Libertyville's Finest - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 10:45 am:


    As long as people are willing to work for those wages, we will have those wages.

  34. - Libertyville's Finest - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    Why not a maximum wage?

  35. - Libertyville's Finest - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    There is no significant difference in your lifestyle and consumerism you can obtain with even a $1 increase. After taxes, you’re really donating it to the government.

  36. - skeptical spectacle - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    I think Rauner made a political gaffe, but he has recovered fine. He is correct, media commentary on his minimum wage remarks (which he should have been savvy enough to have never made, hope he learns) are a gross simplification of his ideas on the minimum wage, but that doesn’t translate well in a political battle with people coming at your throat with negative ads.

    What to do about the minimum wage IS a very complicated issue and needs to be though of in a very nuanced comprehensive manner. It is not a simple issue, and anyone who thinks it is a simple issue is naïve and uninformed.

    However, Rauner should have had better political sense than to make such a statement which can be easily used against him and used to possibly mischaracterize.

    Rauner’s was a political mistake, not an economical one.

  37. - Endangered Moderate Species - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    The Rauner achilles heel will be speaking from the stump.

  38. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    - skeptical spectacle -,

    Bruce Rauner wants to take a dollar an hour from those working hard. He said it. That is what he wants. like the “47%” I was hammered with about Romney from my Dem friends.

    Bruce Rauner feels the $8.25 was too high until he was caught.

    Cant unring the bell, - skeptical spectacle -, it is who Bruce Rauner is, Carhartt coat and all.

  39. - A guy... - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    Very clumsy effort. Better learn from it. You’ve got no other choice than to walk back from this kind of ‘goof up’. The best position on minimum wage is to have parity with surrounding states that don’t give a significant competitive advantage away. Minimum wage jobs aren’t the ones anyone should be focused on. Family sustaining wage jobs are. Admit the mistake, and move forward. Possibly turn it into an “I hear the people” moment if possible. Not a good moment for sure.

  40. - Libertyville's Finest - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    Who on this blog thinks they are paid fairly? No one. Its never enough.

  41. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    =As long as people are willing to work for those wages, we will have those wages.=

    When is Rauner going to put out his ad about how much the average Joe in the U.S. needs to “share” with those overseas because they do not have as much as we do? And further profit off of it himself?

  42. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    That question was directed to you, Libertyville’s Finest.

  43. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    - Libertyville’s Finest -,

    Welp, than I guess Bruce Rauner can take 15% of what you make, broken down by the hour, and let us all know what you think about that.

    I can just hear Baron von Carhartt talk about the NYC Doorman at the luxary condo during the Association meetings….

    “What do we pay the Doorman downstairs? Anything more than $7.25 is criminal. What … they have a Union … well, we need to bust the Doormen’s Union. Let me know how it goes, I hhave a vacation planned with Mayor Emanuel of Chicago at the Montana ranch, talking about me being a Republican, so either cut the Doorman down to $7.25, or let’s break that Union, ok?”

  44. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    Libertyville, let me know when you get to “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin.” Because you’re being awfully abstract on a bread-and-butter issue.

  45. - walker - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    Hoping against hope that Rauner actually took the time to learn that raising the minimum wage at these levels will not do the economic harm that his big funders and right wing “institutes” claim, and that he’s not just flipping based on pundits and pollsters.

    The man’s not that economically stupid.

  46. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    =As long as people are willing to work for those wages, we will have those wages. =

    And have you done, seen, or even imagined what the projections are when higher-paying jobs continue to disappear, related tax dollars are not paid by anyone, and those who had those jobs are on unemployment and being retrained for lower-paying jobs that do not exist?

    Our “captains of industry” have become untalented and unskilled upper-middle managers in Corporate America who are grabbing up what they can before someone finds out what they’ve done and they have a chance to move up at a new company that they’re eyeing to pillage.

  47. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    =Then ask a McDonald’s or Hallmark or ServPro franchise owner the same question.=

    And then ask your healthcare companies and introduce “quality” into the equation.

    The “automaton” sounding accents that have allegedly been hired to support Americans now but do nothing more than repeat your questions “to make sure they understand your need clearly”–and never provide an answer cannot desensitize regulatory “faux pas” that kill people.

  48. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    OK, folks, time to stop feeding the trolls.

  49. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    FarmerBrucey seems to have created a scene for himself
    Several thoughts can someone warn DGA/Karen Lewis to let the GOPies chew on another. Those comments take an internal spontaneous combustion incident and make it look like a partisan attack. Same would have happened with 47%.

    Meanwhile can the GOPies explain why they let FarmerBrucey announce this a month ago and not bash him then?
    Sloppy work by the “3″
    And of course we lost the chance to understand the $600K tax dodge on the ag losses

  50. - Liandro - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    I’ve commented on this stupid minimum wage thing so many times, and I’m just sick of it. Here are some affects that WILL happen if minimum wage goes up.

    1. Prices will rise. No, this isn’t “unproven” as that WaPo article linked to above said. I watched it happen during the Blago min wage hikes, and I did it myself. Margins are margins. Margins don’t have feelings, they don’t have a bleeding heart, and they don’t care whether a business fails or not.

    2. It will make in nominally harder to start up a small business, and nominally easier to fail one. That is not the direction we should be wanting that particular needle to be moving.

    3. It will make it harder to give raises, which in many locales will disproportionately affect people who actually need a living wage.

    I have no idea what Chicago’s internal economy is, but in tiny little Dixon the single mom workers who stay at a place for a long time are already the ones who will loses raises to the inflated wages of the just-hired.

    4. It will continue the push towards automation and other ways of cutting man hours. Heck, many consider this a good thing, but it is bad for people trying to jump into the job market.

    5. It will make it even harder for young people to get minimum wage jobs (older and more experienced workers already fight for many of those spots). Young people have among the highest rates of unemployment, and it makes it harder for them to land jobs (and careers) later in life. This is partially due to the next point…

    6. It is easier to get a better job when you currently have a job. Several times I’ve hired people who’ve been out of work for a long time, only to have them get a better job within months. I’m not only fine with that, I’m proud of being able to offer that opportunity. I gladly give out letters of recommendation, even if it loses me good employees.

    Speaking just for my business, I love nothing more than watching people work for me, then using that work experience to move on to better things, or pay for college, or (in at least one awesome case) start up their own business. I also like to be able to afford raises for those employees who choose to stay with me for a long period of time.

    I already focused my business model in such a way as to be less man-hour intensive. I also already don’t give as many raises as I would like, because I’m already paying out much higher wage margins than the industry standard. Those are just facts–for me, and for many other small town small business. Averaging us in with big city numbers is just…foolish, really. In Dixon you can rent a place for $300 or even less. Gas is cheaper, taxes are cheaper, and most labor is cheaper. But not entry labor?

    Maybe the big cities, with their big economies, should have their own minimum wage? I’m not a fan of the Chicago vs. rural storyline, but I’m also sick of Chicago politicians with little comprehension of small town living. This is especially true when they try to pass laws on us that only match their Chicago “knowledge”.

  51. - Liandro - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    I highly doubt the answer for struggling families is to hike the minimum wage–it’s at best a short term solution, and at worst hurts the economy. In economic terms, the answer is to increase opportunities that pay above minimum wage, as well as (possibly) cheaper goods or technological advances and a better overall economy. In social terms the answers include better access to educational opportunities, better access to wise counsel at younger ages, better families, etc. Only some of those things, unfortunately, can be affected by government.

  52. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    - CircularFiringSquad -,

    There are those trying to help the “3″… honest.

    I forget about that Ag $600K too often.

    I wonder how many hours, and how many years a person, working at Bruce Rauner’s $7.25 would have to work to reach $600K.

    Karen Lewis can’t help herself, she makes everything so personal, she forgets the politcal, just my thought on it.

  53. - Mokenavince - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    Rauner in English is spelled Romney. This is a very rich guy who is trying to get in touch with Joe Sixpack .It never works, pulling yourself up from your bootstraps is very difficult.
    I expected him to be at least as progressive as Teddy Roosevelt.
    Wearing Carhartt’s just does not cut it.

  54. - Liandro - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    Well, Oswego Willy, I started working when minimum wage in Illinois was $4.25. I’m not breaking the bank, but I have a solid roof over my head and no worries about where the next meal is coming from. So the answer to your simple question is complex: did that person seek an education? did they seek promotions? did they earn good references, and use those to hunt down better job opportunities? did they take out loans and take on business partners to launch their own company?

    Because this poor Latino kid starting working at age 12, worked minimum wage for many years, but eventually did all those things above, and is easily standing on his own two feet. Does that factor in to your question, or are you expecting a person earning minimum wage incapable of any of those things? I, for one, refuse those terms.

  55. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 11:54 am:

    ===So the answer to your simple question is complex…===

    What was my simple question?

  56. - Liandro - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    “I wonder how many hours, and how many years a person, working at Bruce Rauner’s $7.25 would have to work to reach $600K?”

    I was pointing out that your phrasing ignores any possibility of a person pushing him/herself above minimum wage…which is something I strongly disagree with. My who purpose in life for about a decade was to rise above that starting position, and I’m proud of what I did with my years of minimum wage. I’m also glad those opportunities where there for me; now days a kid like me probably has to compete with someone older and probably more qualified. I’m guessing I’d be much further behind if I had had to do that.

  57. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 12:01 pm:

    - Liandro -,

    You do know that it was a political snarky question to shed the light of contrasting “Bruce Rauner” and Bruce Rauner … and just working at the rate of $7.25….


  58. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 12:01 pm:


    We get it. You, as a businessperson, don’t want to pay people more money. Perhaps if businesses paid their people more to begin with we wouldn’t need to have a law to raise the minimum wage.

  59. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    ==Its never enough.==

    Well, no, the minimum wage isn’t enough.

  60. - A guy... - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    My “minimum wage” career started at $2.10 per hour and I never had a more physically demanding job in my life. I was in High School then, worked that job for 2 years, eventually moving up to $2.85 which was .45 over the then minimum wage. I’ve never earned it since. In business, I always paid marginally over the minimum wage to get a better choice of employees, usually at least a buck to a buck and a half more per hour. It worked. I never wanted anyone to work in these jobs more than during student years. The few “second job” in the family, moms working during school hours or seniors who wanted to get out and do something were on a higher wage scale for me. Those moms and seniors were some of the most loyal and dedicated workers I ever had. When times allowed, I gave them bonuses twice a year. Usually times did allow. The students were always encouraged to move on. These just weren’t careers. I always looked at the minimum wage as more of a student rate to offer some experience to young folks or some “mad money” to older people who didn’t “need” to work or at least didn’t depend on it to live. The state of our economy is so upside down that I realize some of these folks are depending too much on these levels of work. This is a symptom of a much bigger problem. I hope that’s the discussion that ultimately comes out of all this.

  61. - regular democrat - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    Pat Quinn really is the luckiest politician in the world. I guess Hillary was correct.

  62. - Liandro - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 12:12 pm:


    I realize that, as I also realize you enjoy jabbing him. But if you’re going to use minimum wage to do it, I’ll point out how off-base that is.


    No, you don’t come anything close to “getting it”. First, I would LOVE to pay my employees more, especially the experienced ones…if you bothered to read my posts you would already know that. Second, I consider upward social mobility to be the holy grail, and I would like nothing more than to make those opportunities available to everyone (most especially my employees). Your stereotyping me as some greedy businessman is ignorant and petty, and barely worth a response. Third, you also appear terribly ignorant of economics. Just pay people more? Why don’t you just go shout that into the “Store Closed” signs in Dixon, or Sandwich, or Oregon, or Sterling, or Rock Falls? Tell em, hey, if you had just paid people more, you wouldn’t have gone out of business! Brilliant. As I have also already said, margins are margins. Some places could pay more, some can’t, and some will fail either way. Stereotyping them all is ignorant, both economically and otherwise.

  63. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    What I was really saying is that I want in to be rolled back to the Federal Minimum Wage only after it is raised to $10.00 an hour, which is really forward not backward, but since the federal standard is only $7.50 an hour and the Illinois is $8.50, I want it rolled back to what it is now, until I’m elected Governor, then I want it $7.50.

    “I will advocate moving the Illinois minimum wage back to the national minimum wage. I think we’ve got to be competitive here in Illinois. It’s critical we’re competitive. We’re hurting our economy by having the minimum wage above the national. We’ve got to move back to the national.”

  64. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    ===I hope that’s the discussion that ultimately comes out of all this.===

    Again, I think “Bruce Rauner” hopes so too. lol

    - Liandro -,

    Keep in mind, as you educate me, which is more than fair, thousands and thousands of voters … all they are going to hear is “Bruce Rauner wants to cut the Minimum Wage” … and all the education about that is not going to change the raw political of the misstep, especially if “Bruce Rauner” gets out of the Priamry and makes the wise decision to campaign in Cook County and Chicago, and faces Romney-like “47%” protesters, and motivated groups geared towards voting against Rauner, and defeating Rauner on Election Day.

    Sometimes being right … and sometimes winning the arguement and the “day” …. don’t intersect.

  65. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 12:21 pm:


    What I’m not ignorant of is paying people enough to live on. Maybe we do need to differentiate rates between a student rate and a “career” rate.

    And, by the way, I never once called you greedy. I only acknowledged the simple fact that a business is likely not going to want to pay their people more if they already pay the minimum wage otherwise they would be doing it already.

    I didn’t attack you once with labels of ignorant or petty and I’ll kindly ask the same level of respect.

  66. - Liandro - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 12:21 pm:

    @A guy…

    “The state of our economy is so upside down that I realize some of these folks are depending too much on these levels of work. This is a symptom of a much bigger problem.”

    Agreed. It is a symptom of a bigger problem, and identifying and addressing the root problems is far more effective than blindly populism, no matter how political effective it may be. Heck, I would argue that sacrificing good policy for good politics is one of the reasons are state is so troubled.

  67. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    ==But if you’re going to use minimum wage to do it, I’ll point out how off-base that is.==

    I don’t think it’s off base to attack the guy for saying he wanted to LOWER the minimum wage. He deserved to be attacked for that.

  68. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    Skeptical Spectacle

    Actually no. He is trying to distance himself from his wealth and attempting to look like a regular guy. This statement shows that he is a phoney. He supports exactly what he said, but after getting his people on the it came out with his spin.

    “Rauner’s was a political mistake, not an economical one.”

  69. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    - Demoralized -,

    Thought you were lost for good yesterday. Glad to read you.

    Thanks for the back-up. If the best that can be said about the lowering of the minimum wage by Bruce Rauner is that he is encouraging people to “step up”, I am sure the masses will then reconsider the audio as not an attack, but a helping hand.

    I won’t hold my breath, but it made me feel warm typing it.

  70. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 12:46 pm:

    As Bob Dylan said, “It ain’t me babe.”

    I kid you not:

  71. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:00 pm:

    - Cincinnatus -,

    You know tweets are time stamped, right?

    By happenstance, you “find” the twitter, and within minutes you Post here?

    Not saying you, but …lol

  72. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    Liandro, we’re all happy for your success in the sandwich biz, but please stop insisting that it makes you the resident expert on economics. Very tiring.

    There are plenty of serious people that make plausible arguments for and against the minimum wage, but this is a political blog, and it’s pretty clear how most people feel about it in Illinois.

  73. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    I read this thread, then used the Googles. Bam!

  74. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:12 pm:


    That has to be the most “lucky”, timing-wise, “search” in the history of searches!

    Ok, you keep your story straight, I will go by the time stamp of the Post and the 1st Tweet!

    You oculd have used your other handle too, if you wanted to announce it.

  75. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:28 pm:

    Cinci, your fortuitous find is even more “amazing” when I could not replicate it using the “Googles” myself.

    By any chance, were you the one behind D-LARD?

  76. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:30 pm:

    I wish the GOP candidates for Governor would get together and two of the three would drop out so Rauner cold be defeated in the primary. This guy represents no one’s interest except his own and his hedge fund buddies…

  77. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:31 pm:


  78. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    - Arthur Andersen -,

    I wanted to let you know, as is the custom of AWillyWord Con$ulting, we always double check our work as a Firm.

    After your Post, I, too, hit the “search” key and found no twitter with baronvoncarhartt or baronvoncarhart.

    As a Firm, 2 partners tried and failed on the search.

    I think I will just go with the time stamp of the 1st Tweet and the Post, only minutes apart and leave it there.

  79. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:44 pm:

    Baron von Carhartt is starting to experience the real campaign. It is about now that the rubber meets the road.

    It is easy to look like a great candidate when you are the only one campaigning but now the election has started and he reminds me of the type that won’t have the temperment for real criticism.

    Look for some classic melt downs of Lovecraftian proportions.

  80. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 2:05 pm:


    “You oculd have used your other handle too, if you wanted to announce it.”

    I’ve NEVER used another handle in the three years I’ve posted on CapFax… hard to believe, but true.

  81. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    ===I’ve NEVER used another handle===

    Then somebody else was using your ‘puter. Just sayin, duder.

  82. - Bill F. - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    The shame about Rauner’s flip flop here is that the guy has spent, what, $1.5 million? And the call to lower the minimum wage is, literally, the first thing of any substance he’s said. And now he wants to take it back.

    His millions may well win him the GOP nomination. It may win him the governor’s race. But if it doesn’t, it will be the most satisfying political loss in Illinois…maybe ever.

  83. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    Rich, lol…

    Word of advice for whomever is Tweeting…

    Try #twill to get some followers.

    You’re welcome.

  84. - Very Old Soil - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    Very interesting article in the December 14 The Economist on minimum wage. I strongly recommend to all.

  85. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 2:34 pm:


    From Dave McKinney on the twitters:

    “Rauner in newly surfaced video: ‘adamantly, adamantly’ against raising the minimum wage”

  86. - just sayin' - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    Chicago Tribune also is cheerleading Rauner’s term limits amendment thingy in their editorial. But Tribby is totally mum on the legal hurdles that they are fully aware of. So how many dunce caps on Illinois voters will it take to get Bruce Rauner elected in Illinois? Will they all feel cheated when they find out they’ve been had?

  87. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 2:44 pm:

    Cincy has another handle? And which one is that?

  88. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 2:56 pm:

    - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    ===I’ve NEVER used another handle===

    Then somebody else was using your ‘puter. Just sayin, duder.

    IP? Different story, no?

  89. - Juvenal - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 5:43 pm:

    ZC is partly correct. This is the kind of thing some first time candidates do. Second-time candidates dont because you dont win and run for re-election when you support rolling back the minimum wage.

    I’d guess minimum wage workers probably outnumber millionaires around 50 to 1 in the GOP electorate.

    And I am betting in the ensuing weeks we will hear of other instances where Bruce has called for repealing the minimum wage.

    Proven flipflopper really takes the air out of his attacks on “career politicians.”

    Perhaps more troubling in the long run is it adds to the theme of “hypocrite.” Voters distrust hypocrites even more than flipfloppers.

  90. - Realist - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 5:47 pm:

    All of the training and education in the world won’t do a bit of good while middle class jobs are being either deleted from the economy or downgraded to lower wages. Our economy is becoming more and more polarized. People work minimum wage jobs because those are the jobs that are available. Period.

    Last month the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report that in 2012 280,000 college graduates were working minimum wage jobs, twice as many as five years ago, and up 71% from a decade ago.

    Last May’s college graduates left college with an average debt of $29,400, not quite twice the annual income of someone earning minimum wage in Illinois.

    Churning out more college graduates without the middle class wage paying jobs to sustain them will not make one bit of difference. The problem is not with the employees - it’s with the greedy mid- to large-size employers.

  91. - PolPal56 - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 5:49 pm:

    Sorry, that was me above - wrong computer. Too many devices in my life!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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